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Unfinished Music, No. 1


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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: John Lennon (vocals, various instruments); Yoko Ono (vocals, various instruments).
  • Reissue producers: Yoko Ono, Rob Stevens.
  • Recorded at John Lennon's home studio in Weybridge, Surrey, England in May 1968. "Remember Love" recorded at Hotel La Reine, Montreal, Canada on June 1, 1969. Originally released in 1968 on Apple Records.
  • Subtitled UNFINISHED MUSIC NO. 1, this was the first of a series of recordings that were released near the beginning of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's relationship. Ono, a member of the Fluxus art movement, was a respected artist and had been producing pieces in non-traditional media (sound, video, conceptual) throughout the '60s--in fact she met Lennon when he came to one of her gallery exhibitions. With the Beatles in often-fractious circumstances at that time, Lennon poured his energies into collaborations with her.
  • The two long pieces which comprise the bulk of this CD were originally a side each of a vinyl record (the bonus track, a lovely song called "Remember Love," was the B-side to their "Give Peace a Chance" single). They're both sound collages which incorporate found sounds, bits of other recordings, some keyboards and other instruments, as well as Lennon and Ono variously talking and vocalizing. This was the public's first glimpse of Yoko's particular style of singing which included whoops, warbles, and shrieks. The verbal exchanges between the couple are often quite charming and amusing.
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone - "[I]mpulsive and pure....Occasionally brilliant, occasionally idiotic and always honest -- just like the best rock music."

Spin (9/97, p.157) - "...A lovely collage of whistling, tinkling, speaking, piano, guitar, wailing, and whatsit, TWO VIRGINS sounds a bit like the wilder abstractions of Gong or Amon Duul I..."

Pitchfork (Website) - "TWO VIRGINS is fascinating....Casual clips of the couple's conversations -- mixed in alongside Lennon's tape loops -- blur the distinction between the private and the public-facing."
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